Politicians ‘told’ ex Siemens boss to flee

Former Siemens Hellas CEO Michalis Christoforakos, currently fighting his extradition from Germany to Greece, where he faces bribery and money-laundering charges, had been advised by politicians to flee Greece, according to a document submitted to the German judiciary by Christoforakos’s lawyer. According to the document, obtained by Kathimerini, Greek politicians had warned the former executive that he would be detained in connection with the Siemens scandal. «Michalis Christoforakos was warned by politicians to leave Greece,» reads the document submitted to Germany’s top constitutional court in Karlsruhe last month by lawyer Stefan Kursawe. The same document notes that «nothing had changed in the judicial investigation until the beginning of the year» and that it was only in the countdown to European Parliament elections in June that «investigative measures were intensified due to political pressure.» Another extract notes that Christoforakos, as CEO of Siemens Hellas, «was informed that the Siemens affair would play a key role in elections and that he should expect to face arrest.» He is also alleged to have been told that «he was at risk of facing a fixed trial in Greece» and to have «received anonymous threats that his life would be at risk if he revealed his insights into the connections between Greek politics and industry.» In a related development, the family of the late Yiannis Vartholomaios, New Democracy’s former party treasurer, issued a statement accusing Christoforakos of slander. In the statement, sent to several recipients, Vartholomaios’s wife claims to have evidence proving that her husband had never met with the former Siemens Hellas CEO nor had any illicit exchanges with him.